AUGUSTA, Maine — Why is Augusta Maine’s capital city? It"s not among the bigger cities or towns. In fact, much of the state may know Augusta mostly for the state capital and also the public Center, where it stop concerts and basketball tournaments.
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But the story of exactly how it was preferred for the capitol is one the tells a lot around how the young state developed.
Maine officially ended up being a state on march 15, 1820, the statehood act passed through Congress and signed by president James Monroe. However after Washington had actually acted and also statehood was a fact, Maine required a state capital.
At first, it remained in Portland, in a relatively small structure near the existing site of Portland City Hall.
“The biggest city at the time would be the an initial capital,” said historian Herb Adams of Portland, “but they additionally knew it couldn’t remain the capital."
Adams and Maine State chronicler Earle Shettleworth said those outsides that Portland assumed the new government necessary a more central location.
Shettleworth also said some human being worried Portland can be attacked by sea, since that had actually happened in the past, and could quickly have occurred a few years previously when brothers ships were just exterior the harbor during the war of 1812.
“And we had just obtained over the war of 1812 and it was thought ‘not a good idea to have your capital so vulnerable"," said the historian.
So in 1822, the Legislature order a committee to find for brand-new locations because that the capital.They obtained requests indigenous Augusta, Hallowell, Wiscasset, Belfast, and also Portland, said Earle Shettleworth, focusing on a location centrally located for the population at the time.
“The ideal offer was Augusta, which said we will give you Weston’s Hill, whereby the statehouse is now, and we will give you the beautiful land from Weston Hill down to the river for a state park,” Shettleworth said.
He claimed Augusta was even willing to assist pay for the building. Regardless of those seeming benefits, it took five much more years because that the Legislature to agree ~ above the deal. They ultimately did, the new State home was built and in 1832 the resources moved indigenous Portland.
“Portland was not happy to have the big apple taken away from them,” claimed Adams. "Portland made plenty of efforts to obtain it back."
“Literally every legislative session from then to 1907 there to be a invoice to return the resources to Portland.”
Finally, after ~ 80 year of those arguments, Maine voter passed an amendment to the structure to explain Augusta the permanent capital.
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Two hundred years after statehood began, Maine is bigger, the State home larger. Augusta no much longer really in the center. But still the center of the decisions that will shape Maine’s future.